No change in foreseen in Kenya's cordial relations with the West or with neighboring countries. Indeed, the United States and the United Kingdom, encouraged by the fair conduct and results of the December 2002 poll, have expressed their confidence in Kibaki and are gratified by his zero tolerance policy on corruption. As a former colonial power and the source of Kenya's large settler population, Britain has maintained strong ties to Kenya, and remains a major trading partner and source of foreign economic assistance. Many senior officials in the new Kibaki administration were educated in the United States or their children presently attend school there.
Terrorist events of the recent past have cemented relations with the United States. In August 1998, 257 people were killed including 12 Americans in the U.S. embassy bombing thought to have been masterminded in Nairobi by Osama Bin Laden. The administration of U.S. president George W. Bush has designated Kenya a strategic regional pillar in the American national security strategy, and recently renewed airbase, port access, and overflight agreements with the Kenyan government. In December 2002, U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, travelled to the region. Kenya receives US $15 million of US $20 million authorized by Congress for counter-terrorism in Africa. More than 6,000U.S. citizens live in Kenya, and some 35,000 visit each year.
Regionally, Kenya shows much solidarity with her neighbors as an active mediator of peace talks in the Horn of Africa. In 2002, the Kibaki government hosted a number of peace talks between the Sudanese government and the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), in Matchako, a process that Kibaki will support through Kenya's chairmanship of the peace forum, the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Kibaki must address instability on Kenya's northeastern border with Somalia where armed incursions are frequent, though often limited to cattle rustling and ivory poaching. The absence of a functional state with rule of law has generated an influx of refugees in the northeast, and it will be in the administration's interest to continue to support the Somali peace talks. Kibaki is expected to maintain Kenya's strong interest in sub-regional economic integration with Tanzania and Uganda, which is being pursued through the auspices of the East African Community (EAC).
Policy continuity will be assured by Kibaki's appointment of Kalonzo Musyoka, who headed the Foreign Ministry between 1993 and 1998, but cast his allegiance with the NARC prior to the elections.